Midsomer, England -- The spate of recent knife attacks in London - which culminated in the murders of three people on New Year’s Eve – has elevated the capital to second in a league table of the most dangerous places in Britain, Home Office figures revealed today.
But despite the snowballing number of violent fatalities, gun crimes and teenage gangs, London still falls some way short of the country’s number one murder hotspot.
Criminologists have been baffled by the astronomical homicide-rate in the sleepy county of Midsomer for the last ten years. Despite a population of just a few thousand, between two to three people a week are regularly slaughtered in seemingly random fashion, with no obvious pattern or social explanation.
Remarkably, petty crime in the area is practically non-existent. Residents can walk the streets safe in the knowledge that they will not be mugged, burgled or exposed to vandalism, but their chances of expiring from a freak threshing machine “accident”, Samurai sword attack or poisoned dart to the jugular are worryingly high.
Midsomer also has a completely different demographic to Britain’s crime-ridden inner cities. Victims and perpetrators are not likely to be youths from under-privileged backgrounds, or drug addicts desperate for a fix. Statistics show that the main groups at risk are wealthy land-owners with dark secrets, bumbling vicars, and, most prevalent of all, revered British character actors.
On New Year’s Day, Donald Sinden was shot in the head by Minder star George Cole, bringing the number of Equity members killed in the county since records began in 1997 to an astonishing 57.
It is a situation that has caused several RADA-trained veterans to rethink their retirement plans. “Midsomer? Are you mad?” renowned stage actor Richard Briers retorted when asked where he wanted to settle down. “I’d be better off buying a nice little cottage in Beirut. Rather that than open myself up to the inevitable drowning in a sabotaged row-boat or strangulation at the hands of a crazed blacksmith with an unresolved family grudge.”
Overworked local detective John Nettles has decided enough is enough “I can’t take the strain anymore,” he said in a statement. “I’m thinking of upping sticks and relocating to Jersey – it’s nice and quiet there.”
Crime Statistics 2007
Likelihood of being murdered (per 100,000 people):
London = 7
Midsomer = 27,397
Source: Home Office
Nettles: Relocation Briers: Beirut bound